Published: March 21st, 2011 | Tags: Pick Six, Blaine Gabbert, Bobby Layne, Brett Favre, Cam Newton, Eli Manning, Fran Tarkenton, Joe Montana, John Elway, Kevin Kolb, Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck, Sonny Jurgensen, Steve Young
Multiple teams have quarterback issues, and they will have to decide between drafting a guy like Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert, or trading for a guy like Kevin Kolb. But can you get a good quarterback from another team?
Actually, you can.
When you look at the two winningest quarterbacks in NFL history, both were acquired via trade. But who actually tops the list of the quarterbacks picked up in a trade — and why is the list longer than three names? Read on and find out.
Also considered: Joe Montana, who would have made the list if he had a few more solid seasons with the Chiefs. A couple of former Packers backups, Mark Brunell and Matt Hasselbeck. And Eli Manning, but I am not putting him ahead of six Hall of Famers.
Did not consider: Jay Cutler. Be serious.
6. Sonny Jurgensen (traded from the Eagles to the Redskins in 1964)
Jurgensen was a five-time Pro Bowl quarterback and selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. The great Vince Lombardi called him the best quarterback he has ever seen.
5. Fran Tarkenton (traded from the Vikings to the Giants in 1967; traded from the Giants to the Vikings in 1972)
The “Mad Scrambler” butted heads with coach Norm Van Brocklin after a successful first stint with the Vikings before being traded to the Giants. He led the Vikings to three Super Bowls after returning in 1972. A nine-time Pro Bowler, he was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
4. Bobby Layne (traded from the New York Bulldogs to the Lions in 1950)
Layne never lost a game, he just ran out of time, according to teammate Doak Walker. Layne led the Lions to championships in 1952 and 1953, and was injured during Detroit’s 1957 championship run. He was selected to the Hall of Fame in 1967.
Here is where the game starts:
3. Steve Young (traded from the Buccaneers to the 49ers in 1987)
Young bided his time in the shadow of Montana for years. During his run as a starter, Young was a two-time league MVP and MVP of the 49ers’ victory in Super Bowl XXIX. He was selected to seven Pro Bowls and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005.
2. Brett Favre (traded from the Falcons to the Packers in 1992)
Favre is the only player in NFL history to throw for over 70,000 yards and 500 touchdowns along with numerous other records. He leads the NFL with 186 wins, was a three-time MVP and led his team to a win in Super Bowl XXXI.
1. John Elway (traded from the Colts to the Broncos in 1983)
Elway was NFL MVP in 1987, retired as the all-time leader in quarterback wins at the time (148) and led the Broncos to five Super Bowls, winning the final two. Elway was selected MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII — his curtain call. Some consider Elway the greatest quarterback in NFL history — just nobody from Baltimore.
Alright, so the top three are no debate, but was Elway the greatest quarterback acquired via trade?